European and Turkish leaders are meeting in Brussels for an emergency summit on Monday as the region fails to muster a collective response to the ongoing migrant crisis in the region.
The summit is expected to focus on how Turkey will spend 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) worth of aid given to the country by the EU in order to stem the flow of migrants coming to Europe. The 28-member bloc is also expected to ask Turkey to take back thousands of migrants who are deemed to be economic migrants rather than refugees.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Monday that the summit showed that his country was "indispensable for Europe, and Europe indispensable for Turkey," Reuters reported. He also said that the summit would also address Turkey's hopes for accession to EU club.
Davutoglu said Turkey was willing to take back all non-Syrian migrants denied asylum in Europe as well as all those intercepted in its territorial waters, and to crack down harder on people smugglers, Reuters reported.
An emergency EU-Turkey summit, originally planned to last half a day, was extended to give Davutoglu a chance to present "new ideas" going beyond Ankara's commitments so far.
The 28 EU leaders would deliberate on his proposals in the afternoon and meet him again to discuss them over dinner, an EU official said.
Thousands of migrants continue to arrive in Europe every week with the majority fleeing civil war in Syria in the Middle East, although many are coming from impoverished countries in Africa and the Middle East and are seen as economic migrants rather than asylum seekers.